Does Your Injury Qualify You for Worker’s Compensation?By Goodman Acker P.C. | July 09, 2015
In 2013, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) reported the following for the year:
- 4,585 workers were killed on the job in the U.S.
- Approximately 50,000 workers died from occupational diseases and;
- Around 3.8 million work-related injuries and illnesses were reported.
In Michigan alone there were 135 workplace fatalities and 100,300 work-related injuries and illnesses.
Sadly, these state-specific and national statistics are likely to be underestimates because many work-related injuries go unreported each year. Many people do not realize that their injuries qualify for workers compensation, or they feel that it is too much of a hassle to take the time to make a claim for compensation.
On the other hand, those who report injuries sometimes have a difficult time obtaining compensation. Michigan law requires that one’s employer, or the employer’s insurance company, compensate injured workers or their families if death is the result of the injury. Types of compensation include weekly payments, benefits, and medical bill coverage.
Before making a claim against your employer for workers compensation, it is important to make sure your injury qualifies you for benefits. Read through the following situations to see if you qualify:
- Diseases & Illnesses: If you contracted a disease or illness from work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. However, it is important to note that these types of claims can be hard to prove.
- Preexisting Conditions: If you have a preexisting medical condition, such as a weak knee or injured back, you may be entitled to receive benefits if you current job aggravates the condition. The job does not have to be the source of the initial injury.
- Hearing Loss: If you work in a noisy environment, such as a construction site or factory, hearing loss can result over time. Devices and treatment for hearing loss due to one’s job will be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Mental Health Issues: There are a variety of mental health problems that can arise from one’s work environment. Some of these include trauma from inadvertently watching another worker get seriously injured, undue stress caused by working conditions, and depression after a work injury. Although the employer should be held liable for these types of mental health injuries, it can be difficult to prove that the employer is the cause of them.
- Worker Misconduct: It is possible that you may be covered for workers’ compensation even if you were at fault for the injury you sustained. Eligibility is determined by the severity of the inappropriate actions one took as well as a few other factors.
- Job Travel: Depending on the situation, you may be covered if you sustain injuries while traveling for work, even if you are off the company’s premises. It is likely that one will receive compensation if the injury occurs in a company vehicle or on a company business trip.
- Company Events: If you are injured during a company-sponsored event, such as a party, fundraiser, or off-site social event, it is likely that you will receive benefits for your injuries as long as you were not acting recklessly.
- Lunch Break Injuries: It is possible to receive compensation for a lunch break injury if it occurs on the premises of the company’s property, such as in the building’s cafeteria or break room. However, if the injury occurs off-site, it is unlikely that you will receive benefits.
If you believe you have a claim for an injury caused by your job, you should report the accident to your employer. Not reporting your accident right away can put you at risk for not receiving workers’ compensation. Speaking to a lawyer can help you learn about your rights, should you have a work-related injury occur. Call Goodman Acker P.C. today for a free, no-obligation case review by one of our experienced and top-rated lawyers.